Friday, April 13, 2012

All About Gold Mineralization (Conclusion)

 (This quartzitic gold ore contains other elements or minerals, including iron pyrites, sphalerite, galena, and chalcopyrite.)

Precious Metal Solutions

As a gold prospector or miner, it’s key that you remain aware of the importance of geochemical solutions in the formation and development of precious metal lodes or veins. Soluble (liquid) metallic elements can easily be deposited and concentrated into and through any type of permeable rock, including sedimentary rocks (although sedimentaries are typically not major gold hosts).

When metallic solutions combine with other elements (such as iron or iron pyrites, sulfur, silver, copper, etc.) and either make their way or are forced into host rock cracks or crevices they form ore bodies. The overall geochemical and geophysical characteristics of these ore bodies (including those primarily composed of gold) are what ultimately dictate the scale, size, and richness of a given deposit.

Metamorphics and Gold

Basic gold-bearing rock formations (including those of a sedimentary nature) are often subjected to additional geological forces as time progresses. They can be reheated, compressed, fractured, injected with new mineralized solutions, or even be melted again.

(Highly enriched, free-milling gold ore from a metamorphic basalt host rock.)

This is how metamorphic rocks are formed. Yes, you’ve heard me mention metamorphics before in “Bedrock Dreams” and have read how important they are in terms of hosting precious metals, including gold. Metamorphic rocks are great examples of that geologic “alteration” I mentioned early on in this series.

Gold Mineralization Complexity

By now it should be pretty clear to you just how important geophysical and geochemical factors are in gold mineralization and how easily they can be changed, altered, or even “enriched” if these geologic factors continue to be manipulated by Mother Nature. It’s a complex process and the more you know about it, the better off you’ll be as a gold prospector or small-scale miner.

(Heavy iron staining in this vein material is a visual clue that may lead you to gold.)

By the way, there are numerous visual clues to gold mineralization, something the old timers knew very well despite their overall lack of formal education. I’ve touched on some of these visual clues in past posts and in this series, but there is always more to be learned.

Gold Concentrators

Take care and the best of luck to you.

If you liked this post, you may want to read: “Gold Exactly Where it Shouldn’t Be (Part 1)”

© Jim Rocha (J.R.) 2012

Questions? E-mail me at


  1. Thanks J.R., that was a great series of posts on the mineralization of gold deposits. It really helped explain things and let me know that i'm on the right track in my search for indicators as i shift my focus from placer deposits to their origin.

  2. You're welcome my friend. I wish you well out there. J.R.